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Painted fabric sailor doll bought as souvenir on the ship Iberia. The doll wears a white and black cap with the word ‘Iberia’ printed in gold across the front, and a navy blue sailor’s outfit.
Sailor’s dolls sporting the name of the vessel were popular shipboard souvenirs during the twentieth century. The ship Iberia carried migrants from England to Australia from the 1950s.

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  • Title: Sailor Doll from 'Iberia'
  • Provenance: The doll was purchased by the donor on board the ‘SS Iberia’ in 1962 during a voyage between Adelaide and Sydney. These popular voyage souvenirs were designed and produced by Nora Wellings. Born in Shropshire, England, Wellings became the main doll designer at Chad Valley Dolls from 1919 to 1926, when she left to form her own doll company with her brother Leonard. Their company, the Victoria Toy Works, located in Wellington, United Kingdom produced cloth dolls which were sold worldwide, many for various tourist industries. Wellings most well known dolls were those produced for the cruise ship industry. The company operated from 1926 until 1959 although dolls were available into the early 1960s. ‘SS Iberia’ was an ocean liner completed in 1954 for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O and provided passenger service between the United Kingdom and Australasia.
  • Rights: History Trust of South Australia, CC-0, photographer: Kylie Macey

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